How I'm using the 2-minute rule to generate momentum and get shit done.


Search "2 Minute Rule" on Google and all but two of the first-page search results refer to using the rule to stop you from procrastinating.

What the search results don't reveal at first glance is that the 2 Minute Rule actually encourages you to do stuff, to start stuff and to get shit done.

That's what the last two search results refer to on page 1. And it's in this context that I've been using the 2 Minute Rule lately.  

Let me explain.

I spent most of 2021 procrastinating. Probably not the only person to do so.

2 Minute Rule Atomic Essay

Then two things happened at the start of this year:

  1. I signed up for James Clear's 30 days to building a new habit course,  based on extracts from his Atomic Habits book, in January
  2. I read David Allen's Getting Things Done book in February

Both books encourage using the 2 Minute Rule to start and get shit done. As a result, I've been using the 2 Minute Rule a lot recently. It's helped me build momentum and consistency in various aspects of my life.

Why is that?

The 2-minute rule creates action and moves you forward.

The 2-minute rule encourages you to just start that thing you've been avoiding and then see what happens. Take the smallest actionable step.

Taking action stops you from procrastinating, delaying, or putting things off and generates forward momentum.

Once you've started to generate momentum, it's much easier to keep going and before you know it, what started as a 2-minute action has turned into a snowball that's helping you achieve your targets, goals, and ambitions!

It's as simple as that.

The 2 Minute Rule is a simple strategy that requires very little effort to use.  

Applying the 2 Minute Rule

Here are two ways the 2 Minute Rule has helped me recently:

Starting a new project

During the summer of 2021, I decided that I was going to start an online fitness coaching business. I signed up for a couple of courses to learn how to coach and how to market my business through Facebook.

Then, very little happened. I made a half-hearted attempt at executing the lessons I learned, but my heart wasn't in it.

I spent the Christmas break re-thinking my approach. I decided that I wanted to coach, just in a different context. Instead of solely focusing on fitness, I wanted to become a high-performance coach, focusing on three pillars of business, fitness, and life.

My goal was set. Then I broke down the goal into actionable steps and realistic targets, which started by researching what high-performance coaching involved - a 2-minute task.

My snowball started rolling.

Over the next 6 weeks, I researched everything from the leading high-performance coaches, different types of high-performance coaching, the training involved, the best way to market my services, and where to find potential clients.

What started as a simple 2-minute action - researching -  morphed into a full-blown plan and new career trajectory!

The lesson? The first two minutes of a new project should be easy to perform and create a gateway that gets you moving towards your ultimate goal of starting and completing that new project.

Getting shit done

My second application of the 2 Minute Rule is thanks to David Allen's Getting Things Done productivity method.

We all have endless to-do lists of stuff we want to do, need to do, and must do. Rarely do we get everything done when it needs to be done or when it can be done.

The beauty of Getting Things Done's 'Two Minute Tool' is the efficiency factor.

Before adding any task to your to-do list, ask yourself whether it will take less than two minutes to complete. If it does, complete the task there and then.

The Two Minute Tool forces you to take action and as a result, stops you from procrastinating, delaying, and putting things off.

That's also what makes the Two Minute Tool a great productivity tool because it focuses on efficiency. Why waste more time on a 2-minute task at some point in the future, when you have to think about it again, decide what to do, and do it after you've already looked at it once.

You're just wasting time. Do that 2-minute task now and save your time for something else later.

By applying the Two Minute Tool, I'm now getting more shit done because I'm actually doing it! By only looking at 2-minute tasks once and completing them there and then, I'm freeing up more time to do the creative and important things, like writing this blog post and spending quality time with my newborn.

Final Thoughts

The 2 Minute Rule (or Two Minute Tool) works because:

  • It's really easy to use;
  • It encourages you to show up and take the smallest action possible to move things forward.
Use the 2-Minute Rule as a tool to start taking action.

Action creates momentum.

Momentum creates results.